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7/3/2018 - Greensburg City Council Meeting
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The Greensburg City Council met Monday evening. The meeting began with Deb Lilly leading a public hearing on a grant project. The city intends to apply to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs for a grant from the State Community Development Block Grant Main Street revitalization program. The funds are to be used for a community development project that includes streetscape improvements on the south side of Main Street between Franklin and Broadway Streets. The total amount of CDBG funds to be requested is $600,000. The city initially proposed to expend an additional $155,931 in non-CDBG funds to be paid from EDIT funds. The Alma Taylor Foundation has pledged $15,875 to reduce the city's share of the project. With no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.
The council then began its regular session.
Chief Brendan Bridges presented the 2nd and final reading of Ordinance 2018-4, Criminal Interdiction. The council approved the ordinance. Deb Lilly then presented Resolution 2018-10, authorizing application submission and local match commitment for the Main Street Revitalization Program. The council approved the resolution.
Bryan Robbins, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation, presented the board with a request for a tax abatement renewal for Valeo. Council President Jamie Cain questioned why Valeo was late with its submission for the second straight year even after being granted an extension. Joseph Gibbs from Valeo stated that, as the new site representative, new procedures have been put in place to ensure documents are prepared in February, well before the May 15th renewal deadline established by the city. The council approved the request pending legal counsel determination that the council can extend the deadline. The council approved tax abatement renewals for Greensburg Commercial Warehousing and Honda.
The council then considered four new tax abatements for the following properties being developed by Jeff Whitaker: a convenience store/gas station, a restaurant, an office building, and a medical building. The convenience store/gas station and restaurant would be located on the south side of Memorial Drive, with the office building also located in the TIF area established by the Greensburg Redevelopment Commission. The tax abatement committee had recommended 5-year approvals for each of the properties. After a review of previously approved tax abatements, Mr. Whitaker requested that the tax abatements for the office and medical buildings be changed to 10-year abatements.
Mayor Dan Manus stated that he did not agree with the 10-year requests. He stated that the precedent set during his administration would not allow a 10-year abatement for projects that would produce a small number of jobs. Council President Jamie Cain stated that the tax abatement committee and city council need to set parameters to establish qualifications for 3, 5, and 10 year tax abatements. Several council members expressed their concerns that the city is trying to draw businesses into that area and exceptions should be considered. Mayor Manus stated that he agrees that new businesses are needed, but questioned if a 10-year tax abatement would be approved for a business downtown. Under threat of a veto, the council approved the 10-year tax abatements for the medical and office buildings.
The council will hold its next meeting on August 6th at 7:00 pm at Greensburg City Hall.
Tom Flemming-WTRE News
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